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High Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis

Natural ways to manage high cholesterol problem and atherosclerosis
Hyperlipidemia is an elevation of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream. The principal fat in the blood is cholesterol, a naturally occurring substance utilised in creation of body hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Cholesterol is also an essential component of the membrane that surrounds individual cells of the body. Because fat is insoluble, cholesterol must be bound to proteins when it is transported in the blood. This complex of fat and protein is called a lipoprotein. It is an important risk factor in developing atherosclerosis and heart disease. Forms of lipids in the blood include cholesterol, cholesterol esters (compounds), phospholipids and triglycerides. They're transported in the blood as part of large molecules called lipoproteins. 

Types of lipoproteins are: very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). High cholesterol and other lipid disorders can be inherited (genetic) or associated with: Fatty diets, Diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, and kidney failure; Certain medications, including birth control pills, estrogen, corticosteroids, certain diuretics, and betablockers; and lifestyle factors, including habitual, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of exercise, leading to obesity. People who smoke and also have high cholesterol are at even greater risk for heart disease. Lipid disorders are more common in men than women.

Dietary modification

Dietary modification is the initial step in treatment. For overweight individuals, weight reduction to ideal body weight is recommended. Reduction of total calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat is appropriate for most people. 

To meet the total fat recommendation of 20 to 35 percent of calories, most dietary fats should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Sources of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are liquid vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil. Plant sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids include soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed. Omega-3 fatty acids are contained in fish and shellfish. Fish that naturally contain more oil (e.g., salmon, trout, herring) are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than lean fish (e.g., cod, haddock, catfish). Plant sources that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids include vegetable oils (e.g., canola, olive, high oleic safflower, and sunflower oils) that are liquid at room temperature and nuts.
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